10 Terrifying Video Game Jump Scares That Scarred You For Life

And you thought Jurassic Park's T-Rex was intimidating...

Dino crisis

You know those scenes in every horror movie where you have a random person wandering into a seemingly empty room, only for the VOLUME TO SPIKE ANDOHGODAND- oh, it's fine, it's just Todd, or Brad, or random side character No. 9582.

Point being, that initial "OH DEAR LORD WHAT IS IT" is the quintessential feeling that some video games can actually nail better than their filmic counterparts. Precisely because it's you that has to pry open that creaky door, illuminate said dank room and press forward step by step, it opens up all manner of possibilities for a developer to - for lack of a better term - "F**k with you".

Sounds in the background, footsteps that turn into rustling winds, contextual triggers that change the world around you in subtle, yet effective ways - it's all in service of that perfect jump-scare, and when it hits, man, you better not have a weak disposition.

The following are the 10 finest heart palpitators in gaming history (so far anyway), so if you're still in one piece on the other side, sound off your own favourites in the comments below!


10. Scarecrow's Boat - Batman: Arkham City

Batman arkham city

I certainly didn't expect a Batman game to give me the fright of my life, but then again, Rocksteady are just that talented a developer.

Coming as a result of you exploring the world and seeing what lies inside a rogue ship bouncing around the outside of Gotham's harbour, you'll find a man bound to a chair, alongside a number of art assets and accessories that point to Scarecrow's doing.

Upon closer inspection you'll need to zoom in and prep you- OH GOD, he's still alive. The body promptly jolts back into life right when you're attempting to focus on the logo inscribed on his chest, giving one hell of a scare, mostly because you just don't expect it.

Rocksteady would repeat this knack for making you leap out your own skin during the Jim Gordon scene of Arkham Knight, but it's this dilapidated, roach-filled boat that takes the cake.

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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

WhatCulture's Head of Gaming.